The Kremlin said on Monday that it was for all shareholders to decide whether Nord Stream gas pipelines damaged in blasts last year should be mothballed.
Sources familiar with the plans told Reuters last week that the ruptured Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 pipelines, built by Russia's state-controlled Gazprom GAZP.MM, were set to be sealed up and mothballed as there are no immediate plans to repair or reactivate them.
Asked about the report at a regular briefing, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "Of course, this is a decision that should be taken collegially by all shareholders."
He also said the Kremlin would not issue any recommendations to Gazprom regarding the future of the undersea pipelines.
Apart from Gazprom, shareholders in Nord Stream AG, the Swiss-based operator of Nord Stream 1, are Engie, Gasunie, Wintershall DEA, BASF and E.ON. Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2, each consisting of two pipes, were built by Gazprom to pump 110 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas a year to Germany under the Baltic Sea.
Three of the four pipes were ruptured by unexplained blasts in September, and one of the Nord Stream 2 pipes remains intact.
Gazprom has said it is technically possible to repair the ruptured lines, but two sources familiar with plans said Moscow saw little prospect of relations with the West improving enough in the foreseeable future for the pipelines to be needed. Europe has drastically cut its energy imports from Russia over the past year after Moscow's decision to send hundreds of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022.
(Reuters - Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin/Editing by Gareth Jones)